In a bold move designed to simultaneously shore up his support with women, and bring in a kindred soul on crowd control, Donald Trump selected former University of Missouri Professor Melissa Click to be his running mate for the 2016 election.
Before last year, Assistant Professor of Communications Melissa Click, a fiery redhead who wears glasses and a scarf, was little known across the nation. But that all changed during protests at the University of Missouri, where Dr. Click tried to expel student journalists from covering the Concerned Student 1950 protests about the school's administration and its insensitivity to complaints about racial harassment.
"I need some muscle over here," Click famously said after trying to block a camera and make student reporter Mark Schierbecker leave.
Trump has been known for having controversy with protesters showing up at his events, and their violent removal and Trump's incendiary language has made headlines. "I like her call to use muscle to deal with troublemakers," Trump admitted. "It showed she's got spunk!"
The fact that Professor Click had been charged with third-degree assault for the incident did not seem to bother the Republican front-runner. "I'll even pay for her legal fees," Trump boasted.
Republican lawmakers had previously chastised the former professor at Missouri's Communication Department and School of Journalism, claiming that she "displayed a complete disregard for the First Amendment rights of reporters."
But that didn't bother Trump. "Republican lawmakers have been making me look bad since this primary season began," the tycoon told reporters. "And I think we need to rethink some of that freedom of the press stuff anyway. Have you seen what they've been saying about me?"
Trump's campaign manager agreed. "We could always use someone who knows about journalism," he said, citing a recent scuffle with a Breitbart reporter. "Can you imagine Dr. Click getting in a fight with her, or Megyn Kelly, over covering a Trump event? We could sell tickets to the event."
Trump also noted that Dr. Click's value on the ticket could help him do better in Missouri, where his campaign eked out a win over Senator Ted Cruz. Additionally, he could use a female on the ticket to overcome charges that he's a misogynist. "Everyone knows I love women!"
A statement from Hillary Clinton's campaign called the selection of Dr. Click a cheap political stunt to play the gender card, but Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' staff seemed more receptive to the move. "We always thought Donald Trump was a liberal, and this confirms it," a state director said off the record. "Her positions are close to Bernie's than they are to Hillary's."
At the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, a battle appears to be brewing over whether Trump would get the nomination, if he doesn't win enough delegates. A more moderate compromise candidate like Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan might get the nod. Trump hinted that there could be riots if that happened. The event could turn into a media circus. "We would certainly need someone with Dr. Click's strength to show the delegates who is boss."
John A. Tures is a professor of political science at LaGrange College in LaGrange, Ga. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.